Jamshed Outshines Dhoni As Pakistan Win Opening ODI

Jamshed Outshines Dhoni As Pakistan Win Opening ODI
Jamshed Outshines Dhoni As Pakistan Win Opening ODI
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 228-4 (Nasir Jamshed 101no) beat
India 227-6 (Dhoni 113no) by six wickets
First One-Day International, Chennai
Report by John Pennington

Nasir Jamshed and Mahendra Singh Dhoni both scored fine unbeaten centuries in the opening One-Day International between India and Pakistan in Chennai, but it was Jamshed whose innings led his team to victory.

India's captain Dhoni made 113 to haul his side from the desperate position of 29 for five to post 227 for six but Jamshed's effort of 101 helped Pakistan over the line with 11 balls to spare.

Junaid Khan (4-43) had done the bulk of the damage as India's top order began life without Sachin Tendulkar by collapsing dramatically and it took one of Dhoni's best innings to revive their chances.

Although Bhuvneshwar Singh took the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez with his first ball in One-Day International cricket, Pakistan stood firm with both Younis Khan (58) and Shoaib Malik (34 not out) offering Jamshed worthy support.

Three of Junaid's victims - Virender Sehwag (4), Virat Kohli (0) and Yuvraj Singh (2) - were bowled as the left-armer took advantage of swing-friendly conditions after Mohammad Irfan had similarly disturbed Gautam Gambhir's stumps after the opener had made just eight.

When Rohit Sharma was caught by Hafeez off Junaid, India were in desperate trouble but in Suresh Raina and Dhoni, they had the right men for the crisis at the crease and Raina's 43 in 88 balls - inclusive of just two boundaries - helped Dhoni add 73 for the fifth wicket before Raina was bowled by Hafeez.

Dhoni then found an even more willing ally when he was joined by Ravichandran Ashwin, and the pair added an Indian record of 125 for the seventh wicket.

Ashwin's share was a workmanlike 31 in 39 balls which allowed Dhoni to cut loose to finish unbeaten on 113 in 125 balls with seven fours and three sixes.

Unusually, but perhaps in another sense encouragingly for Pakistan, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal went wicketless as youngsters Junaid and Irfan - along with Hafeez - took on the wicket-taking duties.

Pakistan's long history of seemingly contriving to make run chases as hard as they can continued when Hafeez was bowled by Bhuvneshwar, who struck again soon after to remove Azhar Ali for nine.

Progress was slow for the tourist at this stage and it took them until the 16th over to reach their half-century and although India had made a horror start, they had scored quicker.

This time taken by Jamshed and Younus, two players who produce their best against India, proved to be well-spent as by ensuring they were still there when the effect of two new balls began to wear off, they were able to accelerate during a 112-run stand.

Younus stroked 58 in 60 balls with three fours and a six before he was caught by Ashwin off Ashok Dinda and soon after Misbah-ul-Haq was bowled by Ishant Sharma for 16 as Pakistan wobbled, slipping from 133 for two to 172 for four.

Nevertheless, Jamshed stood firm, making his way to a second ODI century in 127 balls as Malik came in and swiftly struck 34 in 35 balls to finally end India's chances.

Jamshed faced 132 balls, hitting five fours and a six as Pakistan sealed the win that puts them 1-0 up in the three-match series at the beginning of the penultimate over.

The second game is in Kolkata on 3rd January.

© Cricket World 2012

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